Transformance Talk 18: “Insights from 16 Session AEDP”Transformance Talk 18

Gail Woods, LCSW, LMFT: “Time & Slowing, Attachment & Loss in 16-Session AEDP Therapy” and  Richard Harrison, Ph.D: “Together We Say Goodbye: Termination in 16-Session AEDP” from July 2023 Volume 11

This is a recorded talk from December 5, 2023

The Presenters:

Gail Woods, LCSW, LMFT:
“Time and Slowing, Attachment & Loss in 16-Session AEDP Therapy”  describes specific interventions research therapists, with Diana Fosha and Jennifer Edlin’s guidance, have found helpful in processing beginnings, middles and endings in 16 Session AEDP.   Her article, a case study of maternal loss,  gives special attention to the impact of Time—-how  setting the time frame (“clock-time”) from the beginning and going slowly with deep emotion /affective time (“existential time”) paradoxically mobilizes transformance. The reality of a planned end creates a unique opportunity for corrective experience of loss and separation where the felt sense of secure meaningful therapist-patient connection carries forward beyond the therapy. “It’s attachment even more-so!” (Jenn Edlin, personal communication, 12/3/20).  Out of traumatic loss and disconnection,  in key moments of embodied empathic connection, clock-time feels suspended. Time stretches,  integration and transformational growth emerge.

Richard Harrison, PhD:
“Together we say goodbye: Termination in 16-session AEDP” explores strategies for bringing a 16-session AEDP treatment to completion. The “termination” phase of therapy is construed and approached as a launching and graduation: A time for celebrating therapeutic achievements, as well as for processing emotions related to separation and loss. Moreover, the ending of AEDP therapy has the potential to be anadditive and healing component of treatment that contributes to an ongoing process of change in the patient’s life, which extends beyond the final goodbye. Facing and going through the goodbye together provides a unique opportunity to disconfirm earlier attachment-based expectations, revise inner working models, and help patients grow in self-confidence as they face, accept, and thrive in the wake of loss. Potential challenges in this process, including a therapist’s own feelings about endings, are also addressed. 

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